Premier League leaders SMK Putera are confident that they can challenge for the overall crown of the Ministry of Education League Cup Under-17 after they opened up a four point lead over nearest challenger Gambang Sports School U15.
Their 3-1 win over Johor’s SMK Tun Hussein Onn on Saturday made sure that the side from Kelantan have only been beaten once this season and with a match in hand over the Gambang boys.
“Rain affected play and after the long break due to the Puasa holidays, our combination was not as fluid as it should be,” said SMK Putera coach Rizalman Hassan.
“The score did not actually reflect the actual progress of the game as the side from Johor gave us lots of problem.
“But we have reinforced the team with some new players after the Raya break. We are better prepared this year and we should win the group to make the quarter-finals.
“I believe that we can challenge for the overall U17 crown.”
In the match that was played in Kota Baru, Afiq Saluddin gave the homesters the lead after 17 minutes before Mohammad Imran Samso then added the second goal with a minute left of the first half.
The visitors then pulled a goal back off Muhammad Arizal Abd Aziz in the 61st minute as Muhammad Imran then rounded off with his second and Kelantan’s third goal of the game right at the end.
With the win, SMK Putera have 25 points while the U15 team of the Gambang Sports School have 21 points. Third is SMK Seri Kota of Melaka with 20 points.
Only the top three teams from the lower Premier League will make the cut into the quarter-finals.
In the meantime in the Super League, third-placed SMK Tabuan Jaya of Sarawak closed in on the leaders with a slim 1-0 win over SMK Tunku Anum of Kedah with the only goal of the game coming off Mohammad Zainudin Bohri in the 51st minute.
The three points allowed SMK Tabuan Jaya to remain on third with 20 points behind league leaders SMK Za’ba of Negeri Sembilan and second-placed Bukit Jalil Sports U16, both of whom did not play this week.
Both SMK Za’ba and Bukit Jalil Sports U16 are on 23 and 21 points respectively but who have only played ten matches so far as against SMK Tabuan Jaya’s twelve games.
The top five teams will earn tickets to the next round.
UNDER-17 SUPER LEAGUE RESULTS
SMK Syed Hassan (PERLIS) 3
SMK Mutiara Impian (PENANG) 2
SMK Bukit Nenas (TERENGGANU) 0
SMK Seksyen 11 (SELANGOR) 0
SMK Tabuan Jaya (SARAWAK) 1
SMK Tunku Anum (KEDAH) 0
PREMIER LEAGUE RESULTS
SMK Putera (KELANTAN) 3
SMK Tun Hussein Onn (JOHOR) 1
SMK Seri Titiwangsa (KUALA LUMPUR) 1
SMK Datuk Peter Monjuntin (SABAH) 2